19 Jan 2019

Bevin bravery keeps title hopes alive

7:51 pm on 19 January 2019

The New Zealand cyclist Patrick Bevin has been hospitalised after fighting back from a painful crash to hold onto the lead heading into the final stage of the Tour Down Under in Australia.

New Zealand cyclist Patrick Bevin


Bevin fell heavily from his bike during a pile-up in the main bunch with around 10km to go in Saturday's fifth and penultimate stage of the World Tour event.

Despite displaying a clear limp and with blood coming from his right elbow and knee, the 27-year-old was able to get back on his bike and carry on.

Bevin, with help from some of his CCC team-mates, was able to rejoin the peloton and finished the stage in 44th, holding onto his seven second advantage from South African rider Daryl Impey.

It was unclear whether he would be able to contest Sunday's final stage, which ends with a difficult 3.6 km climb, but he did not go to the podium presentation.

"He's a brave and gutsy guy - he went down hard," TV commentator Stuart O'Grady said of Bevin.

Bevin's nasty fall wasn't the only drama on stage five of the event.

After stage-winning Australian Caleb Ewan was disqualified, the stage win went to Belgian Jasper Philipsen, who had crossed the line second.

Overhead TV footage showed Ewan appearing to try to head-butt Philipsen as they jostled for position inside the last kilometre.

Ewan was relegated after an appeal from Philipsen's UAE team.

Australian star Richie Porte is in a group of contenders now 26 seconds behind Bevin on the overall standings and 19 seconds behind Impey, the defending champion.